From Imperfect Regimes To…? Analyzing the Effects of Electoral Revolutions in Transition Economies
27 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2011
Date Written: August 8, 2009
This paper analysis economic and social impact of electoral revolutions in two early cases: Bulgaria and Slovakia. The analysis finds that while the pivotal elections were clearly a success in a narrow understanding of de-powering the illiberal incumbents, the improvements in socioeconomic development varied. The post-electoral success in a broad sense of bringing tangible improvements was context dependent and materialized to the greatest extent in the dimension where the country had the most difficulties prior to the electoral revolution. While the main motivation of ‘regime change’ in Slovakia was dissatisfaction with Mečiar’s semi-authoritarianism, economic crisis was the main factor behind the quest for change in Bulgaria. Hence, the main gains were political in Slovakia while in Bulgaria they materialized mainly along (macro-) economic lines. In neither of the cases, however, was the sizeable improvement in democratization and in macroeconomic criteria accompanied by similar improvement in social dimension.
Keywords: electoral revolutions, Slovakia, Bulgaria, social impact
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